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Occupational Profile

Interior Designer

Interior designers create and enhance interior spaces to improve quality of life, increase productivity and protect public health, safety and welfare.

  • Avg. Salary $54,186.00
  • Avg. Wage $28.09
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 2,000
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Designer

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

41%
41%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Interior Designer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Interior Designers
NOC code: 5242
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to develop plans, elevations, cross sections and detailed drawings, and advise on selection of colours, finishes and materials, floor and wall coverings, interior and exterior lighting, furniture and other items, taking into account ergonomic and occupational health standards

METHODICAL

Interest in precision working with equipment to prepare plans and specifications for final interior designs in accordance with current practices and codes; and to estimate costs and materials required

SOCIAL

Interest in consulting with clients to determine needs, preferences, safety requirements and purpose of space; may advise on leasing, real estate and marketing

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Interior designers plan new interiors and renovate existing ones in commercial buildings (for example, offices, institutions, stores, hotels and restaurants) and single and multi-family dwellings. Their responsibilities vary from one position or project to another but, in general, interior designers:

  • identify and analyze client needs and goals, safety requirements, budget limitations and project schedules
  • prepare preliminary plans and design concepts for client approval
  • estimate costs and prepare budgets
  • develop presentations which may include drawings, sketches, renderings, perspectives, colour and material boards, photographs or models
  • prepare working drawings and specifications for non load-bearing construction including materials, finishes, millwork and furnishings
  • prepare tender documents, co-ordinate the bid process and assist clients in awarding contracts
  • confirm that required building and other code permits are obtained
  • collaborate with professional and technical consultants (for example, mechanical, electrical and structural engineers, architects, audiovisual consultants)
  • conduct field reviews of construction and installation of furnishings, fixtures and equipment
  • review and evaluate projects on behalf of clients, during implementation and upon completion.

Interior designers co-ordinate their work with other professionals and work closely with general contractors to ensure that their drawings are interpreted correctly. They may co-ordinate the activities of trades (for example, painters, carpenters) when there is no general contractor.

Interior designers are concerned with general and detailed planning, spatial arrangements, health and safety issues, detailing, constructability and technical considerations (for example, lighting and acoustics) as well as the aesthetics of a space. They are more involved with technical considerations than interior decorators are. Decorators focus on the ornamental and moveable aspects of interiors (colour, furniture, rugs, drapery) and fixed details (for example, moldings) that easily can be added to an existing space (for more information, see the Interior Decorator occupational profile).

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Working conditions vary considerably in this occupation. Interior designers frequently meet with clients, other consultants and contractors in clients' workplaces and homes, in interior design offices, in consultants' offices and at work sites. Work hours are sometimes long or irregular, and may include weekends and evenings.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Interior designers need the following characteristics:

  • creativity and imagination
  • the ability to visualize spatial relationships in three dimensions
  • good oral, written and graphic communication skills
  • an interest in attending to details
  • the ability to work on several projects in different stages of development at the same time
  • the ability to deal with the pressure of deadlines
  • the ability to work well with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

They should enjoy synthesizing information to develop plans and design concepts, taking a methodical approach to work requiring precision, and working with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

There are no standard education requirements for interior designers in Alberta. However, to be licensed by the Alberta Association of Architects, interior designers must have a degree in interior design plus related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Some post-secondary schools offer two year interior design diploma programs which are not and cannot be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation at this time. Graduates of these programs are not eligible for professional registration without further education and a longer period of work experience (see Other Requirements below).


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Bow Valley College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Alberta

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Architect

Architects design building projects and advise clients regarding building projects. They prepare programs, sketches and cost estimates, produce scale construction drawings, write specifications and review on-site construction work.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Architects Act and Architects Act General Regulation, you must be registered with the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) to practice as an Architect and use the title Architect. If you are not registered with AAA, you may work under the supervision of a registered architect. Licensed interior designers and restricted practitioners may practice architecture on projects of limited scope with AAA approval.

Education

Registration requires the equivalent of: (1) completion of an approved bachelor's or master's degree program in architecture, (2) completion of an approved apprenticeship or study program, (3) an internship of at least 2 years of work experience under the supervision of an architect, (4) successful completion of registration examinations and (5) a final interview with the provincial association. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the AAA website or contact the AAA.

Working in Alberta

Architects who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered architects in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated architects, see Architect Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

Alberta Association of Architects
10515 Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6E 4S1
Phone number: 780-432-0224
Fax number: 780-439-1431
Website:www.aaa.ab.ca

Interior Designer

Interior designers create and enhance interior spaces to improve quality of life, increase productivity and protect public health, safety and welfare.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Architects Act and Architects Act General Regulation, the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) oversees interior designer certification which entitles designers to practice a portion of the scope of practice defined in the Architects Act and Regulations. You do not have to be registered if you do not practice as or use the title Licensed Interior Designer.

Education

Registration requires: (1) a Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited degree in interior design, or equivalent and three years of acceptable experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, and (2) successful completion of approved examinations, including the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the Interior Designers of Alberta (IDA) website or contact the IDA.

Working in Alberta

Interior designers who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified interior designers in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated interior designers, see Interior Designer Licensing Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

Interior Designers of Alberta
P.O. Box 21171
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada,  AB  T6R 2V4
Phone number: 780-413-0013
Fax number: 780-413-0076
Website: www.idalberta.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Interior designers are employed by:

  • interior design firms
  • architectural firms
  • institutions such as schools, universities and hospitals
  • building development companies
  • corporate planning offices
  • hotels and restaurants
  • furniture and product or materials manufacturers and dealers 
  • government planning offices
  • property management companies.

Graduates of recognized four year degree programs usually begin work in interior design and architectural offices, or the planning departments of corporations or institutions. Graduates of two year diploma programs are employed by home builders, kitchen and bath manufacturers, and flooring companies, or as assistants in interior design and architectural offices. Some are employed in retail sales positions (for more information, see the Interior Decorator profile) or technical sales positions with commercial suppliers (see Technical Sales Representative profile). Experience gained in sales positions may not be eligible for credit toward professional recognition.

In Alberta, 77% of people employed as interior designers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 2,000 Albertans are employed in the Interior designers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.0% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 40 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Interior designers and interior decorators
NOC code: 5242

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $14.00 $35.00 $19.71 $18.46
Overall $17.42 $53.32 $28.09 $24.11
Top $26.44 $91.03 $38.72 $30.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Construction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

41%
41%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

24%
24%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

2015 Vacancy Rate

1%
Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Physics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) website: www.aaa.ab.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Careers in Interior Design website: www.careersininteriordesign.com

Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) website: www.accredit-id.org

Interior Designers of Alberta (IDA) website: www.interiordesignalberta.com

Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) website: www.idcanada.org

National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) website: www.ncidq.org

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) website: www.nkba.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 30, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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